Does Dating While Divorcing Hurt Your Case?

dating and divorceSolana Beach, CA – Divorce can be a time of loneliness and despair, and it’s only natural to seek out companionship in other capacities. However, to best help your case, it may be wise to avoid dating a new partner until the divorce is finalized.

Dating and Spousal Support

Since California is a no-fault state, the reasons for the divorce don’t matter in court; the important thing is your marriage has fallen apart to the point of being irreconcilable. As such, even though dating during divorce would be considered an extramarital affair, it would not affect the court’s granting of a divorce. It could, however, affect spousal support.

California Family Code 4323 states that adding a nonmarital partner can cause spousal support to change or be eliminated altogether. This is especially true if you and your new mate decide to move in together.

Dating, Custody, and Child Support

If you’re considering dating during your divorce process, another key factor is any children involved. California law always advocates for the best interest of the child and will assess your new boyfriend or girlfriend when ruling on child custody. Some questions that will likely be asked are:

  • Will the new partner babysit or otherwise be alone with the child(ren)?
  • In whose home will you reside?
  • Does your new relationship impact the attention and care you can provide your child(ren)?
  • If you’re going for sole or joint custody, is your new partner a suitable custodian?
  • Does your new partner have a criminal record or any other evidence of wrongdoings?
  • Are there other children from your new partner’s former relationships?

Ultimately in custody cases, the court is seeking the best and safest environment for the children. If you are dating someone and make it known, the court will scrutinize the new relationship to ensure it’s best for any children involved.

Words of Wisdom

While it can be mighty tempting to begin a hopeful connection with a new partner, it might be best to hold off until the divorce is finalized. If you absolutely must date, try to be as discreet as possible. This will prevent any potential jealousy from your spouse and can help the divorce proceed more smoothly.

Keep finances separate and do your best not to mix assets or property with your new partner. Further, due to the impact cohabitation can have on your case, it’s best not to move in together until you are officially divorced.

Finally and most importantly, seek experienced legal counsel. California family law attorneys like those at Griffith, Young and Lass, can best assist you in having a professionally-handled case.

Schedule a free consultation with John Griffith and his San Diego-based family law firm today to ensure your case is handled with the utmost care.

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